WICKER PARK — A street resurfacing project that includes bike lane and pedestrian improvements is underway in Wicker Park after being held up by a quarry workers strike last month.
The Chicago Department of Transportation began repaving Milwaukee Avenue from Chicago to North avenues Monday, starting on the stretch’s southern end.
The project will also add concrete curb protected bike lanes from Chicago Avenue to Division Street, and finalize pedestrian curb extensions and bus stop improvements, CDOT spokesperson Erica Schroeder said.
In June, CDOT pledged to add concrete barriers to all of the city’s protected bike lanes by the end of 2023, a project since slowed by construction delays.
Concrete curb bike lanes will also be installed on Milwaukee from Kinzie to Ohio streets as part of the resurfacing project, Schroeder said.
Officials hoped to begin the repaving section of the project earlier this summer, but were delayed due to a quarry workers strike that limited the supply of asphalt, concrete and other building materials in the Chicago area.
“The rule is, we cannot keep the street milled for a long time, more than a week. If we mill, they have to put the first layer of asphalt and the material is not available. So everything is on hold until the strike is over,” the project’s engineer Romil Patel said last month.
Around 300 members of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, the union representing quarry workers, walked off the job June 7, alleging unfair labor practices against Lehigh Hanson, Vulcan Materials and Lafarge Holcim.
After almost two months, the strike ended last week when union members voted in favor of a new contract.
Schroeder said the resurfacing work is expected to be completed by early September, with bike lane and pedestrian improvements finished later this fall.
During the resurfacing, CDOT officials are recommending cyclists use an alternative route along Damen Avenue, Augusta Boulevard, Noble Street and Chicago Avenue to avoid construction.
Listen to the Block Club Chicago podcast: